NOIR CITY: HOLLYWOOD

NOIR CITY HOLLYWOOD 2017

 

 

ONE WAY STREET

 

The 2017 UCLA Film and Television Archive Festival of Preservation

One of my favorite cinema events is the annual Festival of Preservation (FOP) produced by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and presented at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood.

From classics like Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise (1932), early animated Paramount shorts, silent films, documentaries including The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971) and a 1965 KTLA-TV Nancy Wilson concert, the Archive’s preservation activities encompasses the full spectrum of the moving image.

The Film Noir Foundation has funded (whole or in part) nine different films that have been restored by UCLA along with the striking of numerous preservation prints of other noir titles.

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TV's Mightiest Mouthpiece—The Noir Roots of Perry Mason

1 Burr lg

CROOKED MOUTHPIECES date back to the era of 1930s porto-noir gangster movies (reaching their apogee with Louis Calhern’s turn in The Asphalt Jungle), but crusading defense attorneys who trod the line between cleverness and corruption proved to be scarce onscreen.

   And then came Perry Mason.

   His creator, Erle Stanley Gardner, was a self-taught trial attorney who began submitting mystery stories to the pulps in 1923. Over the next decade, under a number of pseudonyms, he turned out an average for 3,200 words per day (1.2 million words per year) describing the adventures of protagonists such as Lester Leith, Speed Dash, and Ken Cornin.  “By the time I’d learned my craft—and that took about ten years—I was ready to use my law background for my stories,” Gardner recalled in a 1965 interview.

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Dinner with Alfonse: A Family Remembrance

 Alfonse at work
Alfonse at work


Grandfather lit up a Salem and recalled the young Joan Crawford as we sat around the dining table.  “She would do anything with anybody,” he said with a knowing wink.  Grandmother shushed him with  “Alfonse!” as she and Mom cleared the table.

Mom stamped her foot on the kitchen floor, interrupting the cat licking the butter stick on top of the table. Grandmother Levy laughed and recalled a story involving a cat and her Mother who had been a six-gun toting Texas constable.

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